Despite what some might say about the danger to motorists and pedestrians traveling about in New York City, statistics on accidents here show that New York is among the nation’s safest cities to travel in. According to data scheduled for release on Monday, the last two years in New York have seen the fewest traffic deaths since the city began keeping track about one hundred years ago.
The figures from the Department of Transportation show that 2009 was the safest year so far on record with about 250 traffic fatalities all told. 2010 saw a slight rise of 5 percent from that record year, with 269 fatalities. These numbers represent about one fourth of the average annual rate of auto accident deaths for the nation as a whole, proving safer than all the nation’s other largest cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas.
The city’s transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan has worked hard to bring the number of fatalities down by creating pedestrian plazas, revamping traffic signals and creating ad campaigns to discourage driving too fast. Ms. Sadik-Khan said that
“We have come a long way on safety” and added her philosophy of creating safer roads: “We need to stop thinking about these as accidents. An accident suggests that it happened by chance. These are crashes that happen by human error, by bad choices, and they are avoidable.”